Yesterday, the Ethereum Improvement Proposal (EIP), which calls for the merger of the two chains, was formalized for the first time.
— dannyryan☀️ (@dannyryan) July 22, 2021
In fact, as of today, besides the traditional blockchain, the one called “1.0”, active since 2015 and based on Proof-of-Work (PoW), there is another one, called Beacon Chain and still in an experimental phase.
Beacon Chain was launched in December 2020, and is based on Proof-of-Stake (PoS). It will form the definitive Ethereum blockchain when the final transition to version 2.0 takes place.
Proposal 3675 formalizes precisely the proposal to merge the two chains, so as to definitively move from PoW to PoS, thanks to the merging of the old chain with the new one.
It was launched yesterday by ConsenSys researcher Mikhail Kalinin, after it had been discussed during the recent Ethereum Core Devs Meeting with developer Tim Beiko.
The proposal will now have to be considered by the Ethereum community, and if accepted will not only allow transactions to be validated with PoS, instead of PoW, but will also shift this activity from miners to stakers.
The new EIP itself reveals that no problems have emerged since the launch of Beacon Chain in December 2020, so the long period of failure-free operation demonstrates the sustainability of the new system.
To date, there are over 6.5 million ETH staked on the Eth2 testnet, with a total value of almost $13.5 billion. In addition, there are already almost 200,000 validators on Eth2.
As a matter of fact, even though Eth2 is still in the testing phase, it is already the second-largest PoS network in the world in terms of the total capitalization of tokens in staking, behind Cardano alone ($24.2 billion), and ahead of Solana ($10.2 billion) and Polkadot ($9 billion).
Merging the chains: the content of the Ethereum Improvement Proposal
Despite this, many consider it highly unlikely that the merger of the two chains will take place as early as 2021, including Vitalik Buterin himself.
The size, spread and importance of Ethereum are now too great to afford a problematic launch. Everything will have to go substantially right, and in these cases, caution is a must.
It is not surprising, therefore, that this crucial and epoch-making step will take place slowly, or in any case without any hurry, so that it can be carried out in full security, and with reasonable certainty that everything will work as planned.